Herbal gift pack/toolbox/first aid. What are your thoughts?

JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin
edited October 2020 in Herbal Medicine-Making

Since I've started making some herbal remedies for myself and my wife, I have managed to share my delight with friends and family. I given away most of the things I've made and people seem genuinely pleased. I figured that I should make up some batches of handy herbal remedies and pack them into a gift box or first aid kind of thing. That would come in handy for birthday presents, Xmas etc. So now I'm thinking, something for wounds, lip balm, burns, drawing out splinters, sore throat, tummy upset, bruises, infection etc. I was hoping to use fresh material that I grow or have access to myself. This would also increase my skill set and give me more confidence! So here's the list I came up with. I would appreciate any imput from others for things I might not have thought about or have any confusion about.

Nasturtium tincture for infection/colds Elderberry gummies for sore throat Peppermint, Calendula Lip Balm Calming Tea Blend (Lemon Balm, Rhodiola, Valerian, Camomile) All purpose salve (comfrey, plaintain, chickweed, yarrow) Dried plantain (so you can chew up to make a splinter poultice ) Mint/Ginger gummies for nausea Willow tincture for pain relief @torey very interested to hear your take on this!


  • sallyhoward
    sallyhoward Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

    Great ideas! I have made (and continue to make) separate batches of lavender and calendula in olive oil the folk method and find that they make fun and useful spontaneous gifts. I like your idea of planing first aid gift boxes

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    @jodienancarrow Since you have yarrow, how bout some yarrow and a tourniquet for bleeding?

    How bout some of your herbs to put in the bath..ie epsom salt, baking soda, powdered milk...any coloring of your choice and the herb/s of your choice..I especially love lavender in my bath salts.

    A snake bite kit..

    Also you could go over to Kami's website and check out some of her ideas.

    Yes, I think you're on to something. Keep us up to date

    Oh, and herbal vinegar's too???

  • stephanie447
    stephanie447 Posts: 404 ✭✭✭

    I wish you were my friend! 😉 How about some plain ole basil? Fresh culinary basil is easy to grow and nice to have. If you can grow tulsi then you could also include some herbal tea that could be helpful for respiratory health.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    @jodienancarrow I am honoured that you have asked my opinion!

    Excellent choices. I had never thought about making ginger gummies for nausea. Great idea! I like the sounds of your Calming Tea Blend.

    Two other things that I have in my Grow Network Medicine Bag are Oregon Grape Root tincture because it has so many uses, but mostly for its antibacterial properties and Cramp Bark tincture for all types of cramping. Both of these are native in my area so another reason that I prefer to use them over other similar herbs.

    I really like to encourage the use of bitters so I would put that in a first aid kit. Great for digestion. I have a bottle in my bag.

    Because of the many poisonous snakes you have, you may want to include @silvertipgrizz's idea of a snakebite kit.

    I have seen suggestions in other first aid kit ideas for adding powdered yarrow for bleeding.

    Oh, yes, I have a salve that I have made and put in a tube like an extra large lip balm tube. Made with cottonwood bud and cayenne. Very effective for joint and muscle pain; arthritis, sore, tired muscles, sprains & strains. Easy to apply from the tube and great for travelling. I carry that everywhere.

    Rosalee de la Foret has a blog article about her first aid kit. https://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/herbal-travel-first-aid-kit/

    This is a link to 7Song's resource page where he has several articles on Herbal First Aid. You might get some more ideas there. https://7song.com/resources/

    If you have any babes in your gift giving realm, you could add some diaper rash cream (calendula, chickweed, plantain, lots of soothing combinations).

    Homemade gifts like this are just the best!

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jodienancarrow What a great idea. These kits could even be customized to the lucky recipient.

  • Desiree
    Desiree Posts: 255 ✭✭✭

    These are all great suggestions and I will add some to my own medicine bag. One other item I have in mine is Doc Jones poultice. It is a powdered blend and all it needs is water then applied and covered with bandage. It has come in handy with an active seven year old grandson who loves to scrape his knees and myself when I cut grass too close to trees that like to jump out and scrape me. It cannot be used on puncture wounds because it contains comfrey but I guess I could make a batch without it.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin


    You could do a gift pack of different bitters. There are so many recipes out there; all different flavours. This would make a great gift for the cocktail lover in your group as well as introducing them to herbs. Maybe even a herbal liqueur in the gift pack?

    Rosalee de la Foret and the LearningHerbs website have some great recipes for bitters. This one is grapefruit based. https://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/digestive-grapefruit-bitters/ This one is for a vinegar based bitters. https://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/digestive-bitters.html Or one to make bitter pastilles. https://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/bitters-recipe/

    This is one that has citrus & hops. https://www.finegardening.com/article/citrus-hop-bitters

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin

    @silvertipgrizz a snake bite kit and tourniquet/yarrow for bleeding is a great idea. I think I'll make a few different herbal remedies and then as @RustBeltCowgirl suggests, customise for individuals. Bath salts, herbal cooking salts, massage oil could be added to a personal luxury gift pack!

    @torey the bitters gift pack for the cocktail lovers in my life would be popular! Thanks for the link to Rosalee's first aid kit and bitters, nice one. Even a new mothers gift pack. Like you say nappy rash cream but somthing for mum too, massage oil/bath salts. Really the possibilities are endless, I'll use my imagination! What's good for sore breasts?

    @stephanie447 I'm hoping to increase my tulsi production this season, so I could add it to my tea blend.

    @Desiree I think Doc Jones poultice would make a fine addition to a first aid kit, thankyou.

    @sallyhoward you got me thinking about massage oil with your suggestion, ta.

    I'll keep you posted in the future, to see how I'm progressing and what I come up with.

    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭

    I think it's a great idea!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin
    edited July 2020


    For nursing mums, you could include some stinging nettle tea to act as a nutritive and galactogogue. A salve or oil made with calendula and/or chickweed will help with sore nipples. An oil made with yarrow will stop pain from sore, cracked nipples. Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar can be used to clean the breasts following nursing, so you could infuse some herbs in the vinegar to assist; calendula, elder flowers, yarrow.

    For mums who are weaning, a sage tea would help.

    For expectant mums, you could include some raspberry leaf tea. Some ginger tea or those lovely ginger gummies you have mentioned for morning sickness. Ointments to help with stretch marks are popular. Rose hip seed oil, evening primrose oil, shea butter, vitamin E and wheat germ oil could be combined for that purpose. Rose hip seed oil is very expensive, though. Or one with sweet almond oil, cocoa butter and Vitamin E.

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jodienancarrow Also, for new moms having problems expressing milk, cabbage leaf poultice. This has worked for a mom I know whose breasts were so swollen and painful she was close to big health problems/emergency situation..until her grandmother told her to do the cabbage poultice...it worked for her and quickly and her baby was back on the breast without further issues.

    Cabbage poultice also worked for me in VERY SHORT ORDER on a recluse bite I had last year on my wrist, that was spreading quickly up my arm to just above my elbow..hot red swollen and very painful...In just a matter of a couple hours with the poultice the symptoms were abating, as well as the pain. by the next day most of the signs of infection was gone and the visual bite was no longer visual.

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jodienancarrow I forgot to mention re:, cabbage poultice..

    Marjorie did a piece some time ago on her snake bite experience... When I read that one of her first thoughts just after the snake bit her..( I think she said it was a copper head, but can't remember for sure...but it was indeed a poisonous one)..was she wanted to send her husband to the garden for a cabbage for a poultice for the bite, but there wasn't any....that told me just how important cabbage is to your suvival kit...for many things and that is why I chose a cabbage poultice for my recluse bite. So grow many cabbages in your gardens. Makes me wonder and gives me an idea....check it out on a new discussion I'll post now in the category: around the homestead..and let me know what you think.

    Have a great day!!!

  • lmrebert
    lmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    @jodienancarrow I've been doing this type of thing for all my coworkers and also my family. My husband makes rustic boxes from recycled wood he finds and carves/burns bible verses or words to customize the gifts.

    For Christmas last year for my coworkers I put together:

    Elderberry syrup, fire cider, wound salve, lip balm, cayenne infused pain salve, white willow/cramp bark tincture and homemade candles.

    I've also done a baby/mother gift box with butt balm, baby oils, nipple creams, fever reducing herbal tea mixture of spearmint, catnip and calendula. I've also done gift boxes for labor and delivery support.

    I've made rose and lavender infused witch hazel toners, herb sachets, infused overnight facial oils and salt scrubs with lavender

    People absolutely love homemade gifts and I customized them to the recipient or a themed time period such as at Christmas I gave things for cold/flu/fever and chapped lips etc.

    I think its become quite expected at this point that they get some homemade goodies from my garden!

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 995 ✭✭✭✭

    great idea. I would love to get it as is. Other additions, bug spray, something for sunburn, maybe natural sunscreen

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    @annbeck62 3 Great ideas for the outdoor enthusiast kit! Hikers, bikers, climbers, extreme sports people. Along with some lip balm, joint & muscle salve and/or arnica oil. The powdered yarrow would be a good one to include with these items.

    Mother Earth Living has a recipe for an electrolyte tea that would make a good iced tea blend (or hot tea depending on the weather) to take on outdoor excursions. https://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/natural-healing-herbal-electrolyte-drink-recipe

    Maybe the addition of a couple of homemade, high energy granola bars?

    And a tensor bandage. :)

  • lmrebert
    lmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    @jodienancarrow I forgot, I also did for the hiking boys I got these little first aid bags off amazon and filled with a snake bite kit with echinacea tincture with instructions, band aids, wound & injury & pain salves, homemade sunscreen bug repellents and wound disinfectant, and all things camping. They camp in the desert a lot off grid so it made their momma feel better!!


  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020

    What a great discussion @jodienancarrow ! I feel so motivated to put together gift packs for my kids/friends.

    One thing I would add that can be used several ways is wool. It can be used as a tourniquet, on top of a poultice, for pain, for sore throats, etc. I learned about using wool from a young Ukrainian gentleman who wore a piece around his back one day for pain. It's one of the first things I pull out for a sore throat.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin

    @frogvalley please tell me more about wool. In what form, natural, off the sheep's back, so to speak.

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    @jodienancarrow I can't remember what form the gentleman had (it was so long ago), but I remember it being on his back and asking about it. Since then, I have purchased a few wool scarves for my husband as he likes wearing them. Nothing special just 100% wool. Whenever I feel a sore throat coming on, I wrap it around my neck. I've used it other places, but I don't usually have any aches or pains. I guess it warms the area and brings blood/circulation/healing.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin

    @frogvalley maybe I could learn to knit! Gee my workload just increased, maybe not. I might just support a boutique Australian wool scarf business instead. I've always been a lousy knitter😉

  • maimover
    maimover Posts: 359 ✭✭✭

    @lmrebert that’s awesome! The last few years I’ve been making gifts as well but they’ve not been quite as nice as this! I’d be thrilled to receive a handcrafted box with all those goodies....

  • andrea745
    andrea745 Posts: 89 ✭✭✭

    Can I be one of your friends? I woke up this morning and started making my elderberry syrup, but I only have so many hours of the day. And I really need more herbal remedies that are not store bought sitting on a shelf. Such a great idea. Namaste, Andrea

  • bcabrobin
    bcabrobin Posts: 251 ✭✭✭

    I got large first aid type bag that can be hooked onto bug out packs and filled it with all the salves, lip balms, tinctures with instructions, band aids, wound & injury & pain salves, wound disinfectant, small bottles of witch hazel, homemade sunscreen bug repellents. I also made books with what to forage for, what to use for what, etc.

    This was a Christmas gift last year. They will get refill bottles for all again this year.